Picks and Pans Review: The in-Laws

updated 06/02/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks

Douglas and Brooks assume the roles played by Peter Falk and Alan Arkin in the 1979 original, a scrappy little Odd Couple farce about a CIA operative who ropes his wrigglingly anxious in-law-to-be into espionage. Well, Douglas and Brooks aren't Falk and Arkin, or Felix and Oscar, or even Big Bird and Elmo. Douglas, playing the spy, is too contained an actor to spark much comedic interplay. He moves with the smooth, pompous swagger of a rich, retired pirate. Brooks, as a worrywart podiatrist, at least has his own comic sensibility—an oozing, overarticulate self-loathing—but he isn't very good at farce either. Waving his hands in panic and shouting, he's like Jason Alexander in a woolly toupee. He does get off one fascinatingly weird line about Barbara Walters. That's about it. (PG-13).

BOTTOM LINE: Belongs on the out list

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